Tuesday, December 08, 2009
"Get Off My Plane"
Man, I really don't even know where to begin with this.
We're all familiar with the right's ongoing and eminently entertaining persecution complex, so it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that the counterpart to that would be psychotic delusions of Hollywood-style heroism in fighting back against the godless hordes that threaten the American way of life.
Case in point: the story of Tedd Petruna.
Petruna's a NASA diver out of Houston who claims to have almost single-handedly repelled an attempted hijacking by a group of Islamic men on an Air Tran flight they all happened to be on back on November 17th. Petruna claims that the would-be terrorists, dressed in full Muslim boogeyman garb, were speaking aggressively and watching a porn video (which Petruna inexplicably believes they had shot themselves the night before and were viewing as a prelude to jihad, and no I'm not kidding) and when the flight attendant came over to ask them to keep it down, they supposedly shouted at her, "Shut up, infidel dog!"
And that's when, sensing an imminent terrorist act, Petruna says he channeled his inner John McClane and sprung into action. You need to actually hear him tell it.
From Talking Points Memo:
"This is where I had had enough! I got up and started to the back where I heard a voice behind me from another Texan twice my size say 'I got your back.' I grabbed the man who had been on the phone by the arm and said 'you WILL go sit down or you Will be thrown from this plane!' As I 'led' him around me to take his seat, the fellow Texan grabbed him by the back of his neck and his waist and headed out with him. I then grabbed the 2nd man and said, 'You WILL do the same!'"
The whole thing supposedly ended with the TSA and the cops bursting onto the plane and escorting 11 men off.
Whew. Thank God for "Texan Tedd" Petruna and the years of counter-terrorist training he received from seasons 1-7 of 24, otherwise who knows what would've happened.
Here's the thing, though: Air Tran says that not only does Petruna's story not resemble reality in any way, Petruna wasn't even on the flight in question. Yes, there was apparently an Air Tran flight 297 out of Atlanta that aborted a take-off that day, but that's because a man speaking Spanish -- not Arabic, Spanish -- refused to get off his cell phone. An Air Tran spokesman says nobody thwarted a terrorist attack, no law enforcement officers were ever on the plane, and, oh yeah, Tedd Petruna missed his connection and wasn't on the fucking plane either. None of this is stopping the far right mouthpieces, mostly D-listers like Debbie Schlussel and the usual suspects over at Glenn Beck's 9/12 site, from latching on to the story and circulating it far and wide, turning Petruna into a minor folk hero.
And when Air Tran basically shot the whole thing to hell? Take a guess how Schlussel in particular responded.
If you answered, "Well of course she accused Air Tran of being part of a conspiracy and demanded to know why the airline was protecting Muslim terrorists and turning on its own white, non-foreign, law-abiding customers," congratulations, you get an "A" in right-wing beavershit crazy.
Just remember, these people clearly deserve to be taken seriously.
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Air Tran "Hero" Wasn't on the Plane/12.5.09
TPM: NASA Diver Insists Tale of Porn-Watching Muslim Hijackers is True Despite Discrepancies/12.7.09 (Reading this, you get the idea that Petruna basically took quite a bit of "creative license" with the story of what happened on flight 297 and his role in it in an e-mail to his close friends -- which is a nice way of saying that he lied his ass off to make himself look cool -- and things got way out of control when those friends began circulating the e-mail.)